Classification problems with output class overlap create problems for standard neural network approaches. We present a modification of a simple feed-forward neural network that is capable of learning problems with output overlap, including problems exhibiting hierarchical class structures in the output. Our method of applying weakened implicit negatives to address overlap and ambiguity allows the algorithm to learn a large portion of the hierarchical structure from very incomplete data. Our results show an improvement of approximately 58% over a standard backpropagation network on the hierarchical problem.
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